Expression and exhibition Cateye Glasses studio puts emphasis on fostering creativity

Friday, November 23, 2012
Cateye Glasses Studio owner Rosetta Whitten poses Tuesday at the studio, 401 N. Clark St. (ADAM VOGLER)

Cateye Glasses Studio is Cape Girardeau's newest artistic outlet.

Owned by Southeast alumna Rosetta Whitten, the studio offers weekly children's classes, adult workshops and gallery exhibitions.

For Whitten, this is what Cateye Glasses is all about: expression and exhibition of creativity.

"I'm a studio, so I'm not in the business of selling art," she explained. "I am in the business of simply providing services. So what I'm hoping to do is to provide an open studio for people to come in and do art."

Whitten offers workshops for children and adults throughout the week. She said the services make Cateye Glasses a venue for less traditional or less formal art. Her goal is to make art of all forms more accessible to those who might not consider themselves artists.

Cateye Glasses Studio, 401 N. Clark, Cape Girardeau art studio. (ADAM VOGLER)

"There are plenty of galleries out there that are the traditional 'gallery,' but you can find art everywhere. On walls in cities, everywhere, and that doesn't make it any less valuable," Whitten said. "I don't want people to look at art and think 'I wish I could do that,' because usually you can. I want them to be able to step outside their comfort zone and do something different."

Cateye Glasses has about five paintings on display. But Whitten, a sculptor, said she hopes to expand beyond "two-dimensional" works.

"I want to see things not just on the wall, but reaching beyond, outside on the building, even in the parking lot," Whitten said.

Her studio and gallery are the latest to join a growing list of places showcasing and teaching art in Cape Girardeau.

Black Door Gallery owner Craig Thomas, a longtime member of the Cape Girardeau artistic community, said about a dozen art galleries are already established in the Cape Girardeau area. Thomas said in just the last five years, the city has seen an expansion in the number of galleries participating in First Friday exhibitions.

"The local studios and galleries are a great way for students and local artists to get their work out there to the community," Thomas said.

In her December First Friday exhibition, Whitten said she will feature both the two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of three Southeast students. She said she hopes this will encourage other Southeast students to come forward and display work in the studio. The shows aren't just important to the studio, she said, they're equally important for new artists.

Children's classes are also a major part of Whitten's business model.

"In school, kids get maybe 30 or 40 minutes for art," she said. "So if I can give them an entire hour, who knows what kind of creativity that could encourage? And that's exactly what I want to do."

Whitten also offers Make It Take It Saturdays once a month; children of all ages create projects to take home. The projects go beyond basic finger painting and include do-it-yourself crafts. The next Make It Take It Saturday will be Christmas themed with children and parents creating ornaments and snow globes.

Children's artwork also is displayed regularly. In February, Cateye Glasses will put up a large show featuring only children's work.

Regardless of age or experience, Whitten says she hopes to make the studio accessible to everyone.

"I really want to reach out to the community here, and, more importantly, I want to teach others to do art, not just see it."

Cateye Glasses Studio is open four days a week and by appointment Fridays and Saturdays. The space is available for special events planning, including children's birthday and holiday parties, group workshops and private parties.

This week, the studio will hold Thanksgiving break workshops from 1 to 3 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, with holiday-themed arts and crafts.

The studio will participate in the December First Friday exhibition from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1.

Pertinent address:

401 N. Clark Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: